MADISON, WISCONSIN – OCTOBER 01: Assistant coach Jim Leonhard of the Wisconsin Badgers calls out instruction to his defense in the second quarter against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Camp Randall Stadium on October 01, 2022 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

What Wisconsin Badgers HC Jim Leonhard had to say about the Minnesota Gophers

Madison, Wis. – This weekend, the Wisconsin Badgers (6-5, 4-4 Big Ten), looking to reclaim Paul Bunyan’s Axe, host the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale.

College football’s longest-running rivalry began back in 1890, and the Badgers currently hold a 62-61-8 all-time series advantage in the Border Battle. 

Before the two programs face off this weekend, here’s a look at what interim head coach Jim Leonhard had to say about the Gophers and what it means to those involved.

“You just know the records don’t matter. You go in there; it’s going to be a physical game; you have to earn it; you got to take it away. That’s the fun part about rivalries to me; it doesn’t matter. Banged up. Healthy. Struggling. Playing well. You know you go out there and win it; go earn a win. I’ve always respected this program, I don’t like them, right, but I respect them because they have an identity, they know who they are, and they are going to force you to beat them very similar to what we are. It’s going to be a fun experience on Saturday, and we need to get out of there with a win.”

Coach Leonhard’s thoughts on Wisconsin’s loss to Minnesota in 2021

“I think they out physicalled us last year, and they finished. We had the lead going into halftime, and they finished. They made plays in the second half to swing the game and create momentum, and put us on our heels. We couldn’t overcome it. I already mentioned they are okay with shortening the game, playing tough, playing field position, finding ways to create turnovers, and make it a second-half game. We have to dominate the line of scrimmage, which is going to be different this week because it is going to be a slugfest. You have to make plays; you have to make big plays on the perimeter, in the run game, in the pass game, you have to create turnovers; that’s what is going to get it done.”

You can watch coach Leonhard’s entire press conference in the video below:


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